Happy Easter: The Weekend Ahead

Georgian Easter has those people faithful to Orthodox traditions rounding up one of the longest fasts of the year, the last two days of which see them on bread and water alone. That said, the fasters have a good “cheat sheet,” with everything from donuts to chocolate cake available, made, of course, with fast-suitable ingredients.

The Traditions:

Red Eggs

The Georgians grow grass from seed some weeks before and on "Red Friday" dye hard-boiled eggs various shades of red, using sticks of boiling “endro”. These eggs are then eaten from Easter Sunday onwards. The red symbolizes Jesus Christ’s blood, the egg itself- new beginning. Children like to try to choose the hardest egg to crack and bash against those of whoever will play. The red eggs stay on the table for days, presented on sspecially made plates or nestled in that grass they grew. They are offered to guests along with the pasca cake (sponge cake with a scattering of raisins and cinnamon).

The Church & The Feast

The fast officially ends on the Saturday night and the devoted remain in church from around 11pm until the early hours of the morning in order to welcome the resurrection of Christ and exchange well-wishes (“Kristi aghsdga!” (Christ is risen!); “Cheshmaritad” (He truly is!). After this, people head home for a uick sleep followed by a grand feast and drinking session.

Visiting the Dead

On Easter Monday, it is tradition for all family members to go to the cemetery where they put eggs, pasca, wine and candles on the graves of loved ones. Some even set up feast tables beside the graves to toast their deceased loved ones and share memories. If you tag along, you’ll be sure to notice the beggars- from Kurd children to the elderly and disabled, who, aside from taking your generously given coins, will go about picking up the eggs and cake after you move away from the family grave. A fine example of “waste not, want not,” and in general well-enough tolerated by the locals.

GEORGIA TODAY wishes all its readers a Happy Easter and a very pleasant long weekend!

By Katie Ruth Davies

14 April 2017 11:12